On our daily jaunts to the wine region, we zipped passed Southwestern U.S.-looking terrain, groves of apple trees and rambleshack parillas. We criss-crossed the Neuquén river between Neuquén and Rio Negro provinces. We tasted Parker-esque malbecs, merlots, cabs and pinots at three wineries with high production values and restaurants with floor-to-ceiling windows of vineyards.
The final stop on our tour, Bodega Familias Schroeder (http://www.familiaschroeder.com/) had the least interesting wines but gorgeous landscaping (sweet-smelling lavender, palm trees, park benches) and an amazing restaurant that would have made Ferran Adrià proud, with his goal
The only thing missing was other people. Granted we visited on weekdays, but I have a feeling weekends are just as empty. Tourism is just beginning to creep into the region, and with the nearest major town a 45 minute drive away with not much in between, it unfortunately may be a long time in coming.